- Direction: Ridley Scott
- Actors: Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender
- Rating: 4 / 5
Conceived and created by Ridley Scott back in 1979, the first Alien film ranks among the greatest horror movies ever made.
Scott is back at the helm in this latest instalment of the franchise. And …Covenant delivers in terms of visual sensibility and production design. You can see the stamp of the veteran British auteur (Blade Runner, Gladiator and the underrated 2012 Alien prequel, Prometheus) all over it.
It doesn’t quite match the nail-biting terror of the original, though.
To be fair, the sense of extraterrestrial dread begins to build as soon as the spaceship bound for a planet on the far side of the galaxy makes a detour to explore a seemingly paradisiacal outer-space habitat.
The captain (James Franco, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo) is burnt to a cinder in his hyper-sleep pod. One by one, his crewmates are eviscerated by a host of beasties.
Intriguingly, the expedition team includes twin androids with contrasting agendas (Michael Fassbender, in a challenging dual role).
A shower sequence that turns into a bloodbath is particularly unsettling. This film is definitely not meant for the weak-hearted.
The cast, including Katherine Waterston (as the wannabe alien-slayer, a la Sigourney Weaver) and Billy Crudup (the reluctant new mission commander), is uniformly efficient.
From its deceptively gentle prelude to the majestic, Wagnerian finale …Covenant infuses the long-running series with a new lease of life.